A large number of Major League Baseball free agents have yet to sign new deals. A handful of the best have inked deals and so have a few lesser players. The New York Mets have been one of the most active organizations, added a plethora of players to their depth chart.
Many of them will likely start the season in the minors with dreams of a call-up at some point. If there’s anything the club has continually learned over the last few seasons it’s the importance of depth.
As these new Mets settle in, a few former players with the organization are having a tough time finding work. It’s not exactly shocking. Because of the slow-moving offseason and their performance last year, finding work has proven difficult.
Unemployed former Mets still looking for work
The Mets let multiple free agents walk this winter to the surprise of absolutely no one. The team finished up the 2020 season with several veterans nobody figured would return.
Notably, Todd Frazier and Wilson Ramos remain without a job for the 2021 season. Frazier only returned to the Mets at the trade deadline after a trade with the Texas Rangers. Ramos was with the organization for the last two years. A dreadful 2020 season and reputation as a poor defender surely factor into the lack of interest in the veteran catcher this winter.
Let’s also not forget about one of Brodie Van Wagenen’s biggest acquisitions last winter, Rick Porcello. The former Cy Young winner has been off the radar all offseason long. I do think he’ll get a job pitching somewhere but not until a team gets desperate enough and he’s willing to lower his asking price.
The other two notable names to add are Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie. However, I’m not sure either play a game again. There has been absolutely nothing in regards to their future in the big leagues. Likely, given the free agent climate, they hang up their cleats for good or potentially move into an international market. I would guess Cespedes is more likely to do the latter.
The exception to the rule
One former Mets player from last year has gotten a job. Michael Wacha signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays in December at the same $3 million figure he got from the Mets one winter earlier. Still young, the Rays may view him as a mini-project.
Justin Wilson is one other name worth mentioning and I do think he falls into the exception category. Wilson pitched well during his two seasons in New York. Possibly because of his age, he hasn’t gotten much attention. He’ll get a job somewhere. It’s only a matter of waiting for other pieces to fall into place.
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Plenty of other former Mets from past seasons remain on the proverbial MLB free agent breadline. Rather than take a risk on them, many teams would rather see what their minor leaguers can do. Can we blame them? Three rookie salaries could equal what it takes to pay for one year of Matt Harvey.